American Blackjack: Better Odds to Beat the Dealer
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Blackjack, respectably being the most popular card game at Casinos, has plenty of variants for you to choose from.
Whether you play online or visit the brick-and-mortar Casinos, you’ll come across American Blackjack tables.
How does American Blackjack differ from other variants? Is it worth your time and money? Find out once and for all in this article.
Know all about American Blackjack but looking for free/real money American Blackjack games to play? Head to this online Casino and play at 5+ different American Blackjack tables!
Before we start…
Let’s get one thing straight. Many online Casinos don't call American Blackjack tables "American Blackjack".
But you can find American Blackjack tables by other names, for example, Atlantic City Blackjack or Vegas Strip / Vegas Downtown / Vegas Single Hand Blackjack.
The biggest difference between American Blackjack rules and other variants is how the cards are dealt for the dealer. And all of the mentioned games are dealt the same way as American Blackjack is.
American Blackjack vs European Blackjack
In European Blackjack, the dealer gets only one card and the second one comes only after the players make their moves.
In American Blackjack, the dealer gets both cards right away: one card face up and one (hole card) face down.
Let’s be honest now.
It seems like a minor thing to consider in the game of Blackjack. You may not even notice the dealing unless you really pay attention to it.
But it makes a difference in the house edge and the rules.
American Blackjack House Edge
Many things affect the Blackjack odds. It starts with the number of decks used, blackjack (a combination of Ax + 10x,Jx,Qx, or Kx aka a natural) payouts, specific rules of when the dealer stands, and more.
The card dealing also makes a difference.
When the dealer gets an Ace or 10-value card as a face-up card, they can peek at their second card to see if it makes a natural (a two-card hand of 21 points in value).
If it does, unless you have a natural blackjack, too, you lose your wager before you decide whether to hit or stand on your dealt cards.
If it doesn’t, the game goes on as usual.
However, when it comes to the European Blackjack table, the dealer wouldn’t have a card to peek at.
So, you would make your move, perhaps double down and increase your wager, just to end up losing anyway against the dealer’s natural.
This small difference - option to avoid increasing wager in case of the dealer having a natural - counts for the 0.05 percent lower house edge in American Blackjack games.
While the house edge still depends on other factors, American Blackjack tables therefore usually have only 0.31-0.35 percent edge.
How to Play American Blackjack
One thing that doesn’t change much among Blackjack games is the basic rules.
No matter which variant of Blackjack you play, your goal is to beat the dealer. You can do so by having a higher-in-value hand while not going over 21.
You start American Blackjack game by making your bets. Like with most table games, they usually start at $1.
Both you and the dealer get two cards each.
You see your hand and its value. Also, one of the dealer’s cards. Based on this information you need to make your move:
|Hit||To ask for one more card. The total bet stays the same|
|Stand||To play with the current hand without asking for more cards. The total bet stays the same|
|Double Down||To ask for one more but last card. The total bet is doubled|
|Split||To split cards of the same value into two hands. The total bet is doubled|
|Take Insurance||In case the dealer has an Ace, to place a side bet which is won if the dealer has a natural. The total bet is increased by 0.5 of the original wager|
|Surrender||To give up before seeing how the game plays out. The total bet is reduced by 0.5 of the original wager|
Unless you surrender, after you make your last move, you see the dealer’s hole card. Then the dealer plays out their hand.
There are three outcomes of the game:
|Your hand beats the dealer’s||You win and get the payout|
|The dealer’s hand beats yours||You lose your wager|
|Both you and the dealer has the same value hand||It's a push. In this case, you may get your wager back or lose it nevertheless (specific tables may have different rules regarding the push)|
American Blackjack Payouts
There are three types of Blackjack payouts: a natural win payout, other wins payouts, and insurance payout.
The same ones are available at American Blackjack tables, too:
- a natural (blackjack) pays 3 to 2
- insurance pays 2 to 1
- beating the dealer other way pays 1 to 1
How to Win at American Blackjack
I've written it many times before and I’ll write it many times again: following the basic strategy is the best way to play Blackjack.
American Blackjack is no exception.
Whether you play American or European Blackjack, you see your cards and you see the dealer’s face-up card.
Another thing that increases your chances of winning at Blackjack is card counting.
It’s a lot easier to learn than it sounds and you can use this card counting guide to do it like a pro.
However, card counters may find different Blackjack variants more convenient.
In American Blackjack online, the dealer uses up to eight decks of cards at the same time. In European Blackjack often only two while you can find Classic Blackjack games where only one deck of cards is used.
With fewer decks, it's easier to count cards. Especially when you’re a beginner.
American Blackjack Games Online
Now that you know how to play American Blackjack and how to beat the dealer at the game, are you ready to play?
If so, online Casinos are heaven for American Blackjack players.
As mentioned before, don’t look for games called exactly American Blackjack.
The developers tend to give Blackjack games various names but you’ll be able to recognize Blackjack that follows American Blackjack rules from the very beginning.
Read the info section of the game or place your first bet to see how the cards are dealt.
At many online Casinos (e.g. here) you can do it completely for free.
Of course, when you play for free you can’t win real money. But it’s a great way to practice online Blackjack basic strategy or the art of card counting.
Once you’re ready to play for real money (and win real money, obviously), top up your Casino account and place real money wagers.
After all, Blackjack is the best game you can play for real money. And once you’ll start playing American Blackjack, it won’t be long until you see why.
Spoiler alert: It has everything to do with Blackjack odds.
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